12/06/2012 05:44 pm ET

Matt Damon: Ben Affleck Turned To Directing Because He Was In 'Actor Jail'

Fifteen years ago, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, old friends as you may have heard, co-wrote and co-starred in "Good Will Hunting," a drama that earned them an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Fifteen years later, Affleck is on the verge of receiving an Oscar nomination for directing "Argo," a career shift that pal Damon said happened out of necessity.

"He was forced into [directing], really, because he was in actor jail and couldn't get a job that he wanted," Damon told Drew Taylor of The Playlist in a new interview. "So that really limited his options five years ago, so that's why he started with 'Gone Baby Gone.' Once he had done that movie and it was received really well, he still wasn't getting acting jobs. So he rewrote 'The Town' and was like, 'Well, I'll direct it and be in it!' With 'Argo' it was another great role, so it was another great two-punch for him."

While Damon isn't in "actor jail," he does have the directing bug as well. He was hired to direct a drama called "Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses," about a bank robber and his daughter, in May of 2011. In October of that same year, he was set to direct "Promised Land," the drama he co-wrote with John Krasinski. In January of this year, Damon had to bow out of directing the new film and he was replaced by Gus Van Sant. "Promised Land" is due to arrive in theaters later this month with Damon and Krasinski in starring roles.

As for Affleck, don't necessarily expect him to follow-up "Argo" any time soon, this despite signing on for the Dennis Lehane adaptation "Live by Night."

"I think now what he wants to do is, he'll obviously direct again, but he wants to get some jobs from really good directors that he admires and just be an actor for hire," Damon said.

For more on Damon and why he didn't direct "Promised Land," head over to The Playlist.

[via The Playlist]

'Argo' Stills